Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Drabble Wednesday: Dark Feathers

Today on Drabble Wednesday we fly with our dark winged friends, and death...

The Termination Onyx

Across the sky shadows grew.
Mottled streaks of soft gray into coal black patches covered blue and spread through the white clouds. From the tip of the world to the farthest horizon the shadows crept, and when they reached around the planet, the feathers fell as rain.
Stygian dark and sharp as razors, they sliced through air and trees and flesh, and when they struck the ground the earth shook and cracked. Cities became ruin, mountains fractured, and seas boiled.
Apocalypse, the inhabitants called it.
Annihilation Day.
The Universe knew it better by another name.
The Day the Angels Died.


The Ravens

On darkling wings the ravens flew.
A black spot across the midday sun, the trio of birds soared over the meadows and the forests, past the farms and towns. Every door closed against them, every shutter barred to their presence. The people of Arajyn knew what the ravens heralded.
Every soul waited in fear for its coming.
Children sobbed, parents prayed. And gave thanks when the ravens passed them by.
Until the birds descended, roosting in a tree outside the village of Syarien. Every voice in that village wailed, knowing they had been chosen.
Sacrifices to the God of Death.


Black Wings and a Story

Tell me a story you said.
So I did.
But you didn’t like the ending, did you?
I can’t say that I blame you. I tricked you, just a bit. You didn’t know what would happen.
Now did you?
If you did, if you knew who I was, then you wouldn’t have listened.
Would you?
No one wants the Raven King to tell them a story.
For, you know, my stories are never free.
Their ending always come with a price.
Poor you. You paid, didn’t you?
You paid when I plucked out your eyes, and sliced out your tongue.

© A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Book Spotlight: A Life Removed

Today I have another spotlight, this time for the crime thriller, A Life Removed by Jason Parent. Enjoy!

 A Life Removed by Jason Parent

Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.

Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.

If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him.

A Life Removed is available on Amazon

Author Bio:

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.
When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

Please visit the author on Facebook, on Twitter, or at his Website for information regarding upcoming events or releases, or if you have any questions or comments for him.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Book Spotlight: Conquest (The SciFan™ Universe Series Book 1)

Today I bring a delightful treat with a spotlight for the SciFan novel, Conquest (The SciFan™ Universe Series Book 1) by Aleric Elos. I have a look at the book and an excerpt, so enjoy!

 Conquest (The SciFan™ Universe Series Book 1)

by Aleric Elos

A primeval darkness threatens to destroy mankind...
The world's largest gaming platform in the entire industry is led by a man with many secrets. The popular game DarkForce features the World of Zion which has been plagued by the destructive will of the Leviathan for centuries. What gamers don't know is that the World of Zion actually exists, and the Leviathan has fed off of the souls of men and his fodder has become scarce. He now turns to Earth with an insatiable hunger. Only a woman from Earth who levels up to discover a divine inner power can challenge Earth's Apocalyptic Fate.

You can find Conquest on Amazon


Shadows of Darkness

The voices in his mind were barely a whisper now, but they were always present. It had taken him hundreds of years to subdue them, and he feared that his true intentions would soon be discovered. Though Timur Demyan had long ago yielded up his soul unto the Leviathan, he still followed his own agenda while he fulfilled the will of his Master.
Timur hid in the shadows of the park, slipping through the darkness from one shadow to the next. His prey walked quickly with eyes darting to each side like a bird weary of predators. A frantic look of desperation was plastered over the other man’s unshaven face as he flipped open an antiquated cell phone.
“Come on…” he heard Jason Bridger murmur to the phone as he approached the fountain, “Answer already!”
“Allan, this is Jason. I know we haven’t spoken in a long time, but I need your help. I’ve stumbled across some disturbing information that involves one of your firm’s clients. I need to speak with you in private immediately. As soon as you get this, meet me on the east side of Buckingham Fountain. There’s little time.”
The instant Jason ended the call, Timur stepped out of the shadows, “Indeed, you have very little time.”
Jason spun around with his concealed pistol cocked and ready, “Back off, old man!”
“Ah,” Timur limped forward with his cane in his crippled right hand while he brandished a handgun with his left, “Not until you return what belongs to me.”
“I’m not letting you get away with this.” Jason shook his head adamantly.
“This scene is all too familiar.” Timur chuckled as he cocked his handgun and aimed, “This is exactly how your colleague died.”
Without a second’s hesitation, Jason pulled the trigger. Timur fell backwards with the sudden impact that hit him in the face. Seconds later a strange greenish glow surrounded his body, and then he disappeared. Jason’s eyes grew wide, and then a bullet ripped through his abdomen. And then another through his chest. Clutching the wounds, he absently dropped his pistol as he fell to his knees.
Timur reappeared from another shadow and the strange glow around his body began to dissipate. He approached with a silencer affixed to the tip of his handgun and picked up the old thumb drive that had fallen out of Jason’s hand.
“As I said earlier, you indeed have very little time.” Timur sneered as he placed the tip of his handgun against Jason’s forehead, “And I might add, your friend Allan has very little time as well.”

Author Bio:

Aleric Elos is the Award-Winning Author of The SciFan™ Universe series. He likes to play MMORPGs, and since he doesn't have the software engineering experience to develop his own games he decided to express his creativity in written form. 

You can find him on: 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Drabble Wednesday: It’s Lonely in Space

Today Drabble Wednesday travels the spaceways, the great void between worlds where anything can happen...


Can you remember?
The planetary existence, the warmth of a sun?
There is no warmth out here, the stars are cold, distant. Dangerous. Like most everything. Even the smallest thing can kill you. Yet they send us out, and we go. Sometimes I wonder why. What appeals to us about black void of space? Wouldn’t we be safer huddled beneath the gentle stars, oblivious of the fate that awaits?
I wish I didn’t know. About the alien armada.
I wish I wasn’t surrounded by outlying stars, floating in an escape pod.
And most of all, I wish I didn’t remember.



Can you hear it in the walls?
The scratches and the chittering between the bulkheads. Something’s in there, poking around. My lieutenant thinks I’m imaging it, says it’s just the older electronics on the station acting up. What does he know? He’s a newbie off fresh Earth Station, no real deep space experience.
Just listen. Down there by the open vent shaft. You’ll hear it good there. That’s it, right there.
You can hear them now, can’t you. All up close.
Please stop screaming. Someone will notice.
I’m sorry., but they said if I feed them, they’ll leave me alone.



I wonder what day it is? Or what year?
It’s hard to keep track in this metal prison.
I can hear the hum and whir of the machinery, even feel the ship’s vibrations. I think. That might be my imagination.
Most people dream in these stasis pods, blissfully unconscious and unaware. But one percent stay awake. Unable to move, open their eyes, or scream. Trapped in their own bodies, marking time as they go insane, a perfectly preserved physical specimen until the pods opens.
Guess which category I fall into?
Stuck for fifty years as a living corpse.
Lucky me.

© A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A Spotlight on Clockwork Wonderland

Today we drop down the dark, dark rabbit hole to emerge in a Wonderland of horrors. Today, the spotlight shines through the shadows on the creepy horror anthology Clockwork Wonderland...

Plus, I have an excerpt from one of the stories, so enjoy! Press presents… Clockwork Wonderland

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

Edited by Emerian Rich

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Featuring authors:

Trinity Adler
Ezra Barany
Jaap Boekestein
Dustin Coffman
Stephanie Ellis
Jonathan Fortin
Laurel Anne Hill
N. McGuire
Jeremy Megargee
James Pyne
Michele Roger
H.E. Roulo
Sumiko Saulson
K.L. Wallis

With Foreword by David Watson

Clockwork Wonderland is available on Amazon

Excerpt from Jabberclocky by Jonathan Fortin

As the fist hit Henry’s jaw, the impact rippled through his whole body.
“That the best you can do, you little shit?” his father roared, looming over him like an irate bear. His father’s hands, Henry knew, were accustomed to detailed, delicate work, bearing tools tiny enough to make clocks tick again. Then, when night fell and the shop closed, one of those hands would curl around a bottle, and the other would form a beefy fist. Henry’s father’s hands, it seemed, could take whatever shape the situation required.
Henry had never had dexterous hands like his father’s. Henry’s hands were clumsy and frail, and shook when he tried to grip tiny tools. If he ever tried to throw a punch, it would be his hand that was hurt. And just then, as he fell to the floor, the pain seemed to rattle his very bones.
“Try again!” His father picked up a clock and threw it to the floor. Gears blasted out, one nicking Henry in the cheek. “Try again, or no dinner!”
Although it hurt to even move, Henry pushed himself up and crawled like a rat to pick up the scattered pieces of clock. As he examined them, he had a rush of panic.
“They’re...dented,” Henry said.
His father brought the bottle to his lips for another swig before coughing.
“Dented? Must have been because you weren’t careful enough the first time, you ungrateful little shit. Dented. Pft. I’ll show you what’s dented.”
He stomped over. Henry, hypnotized in fear, dropped the clock, and even more pieces scattered away.
Father had a very bad hangover the next morning.
“Go open the shop,” he grunted from his bed, and Henry obeyed. Henry knew how to man the register and take orders. In truth, he didn’t mind doing it all on his own. It was quieter. Less stressful.
The way Henry saw it, all he needed was a chance. Every day, he watched his father in the shop, seeing him smile so sweetly to the customers. The bear that came out at night was a purring teddy during business hours. But even sober, his father might glance at Henry from the corner of his eye, and the ferocity would be there, warning what might come once night fell. The fear was suffocating. Whenever Henry tried to repair a broken clock, his father’s eyes would be on him, and Henry knew what would be coming if he failed. If he could just work on a clock without his father watching, then maybe he’d get it right.
Henry opened the drapes in the front window and saw the most peculiar thing outside. A man in a top hat was twirling through the streets like some kind of gentleman ballet dancer. Only, the more Henry looked, the less the man seemed like a gentleman at all.
The man’s clothes were tattered, with many rips and brown stains that might have been from mud, or perhaps tea. His hat was absurdly tall, and his waistcoat and tailcoat both had exceedingly long tails that snaked down to the backs of his knees and swished in wide, hungry arcs.
It was a cold, rainy morning, and the street was empty save for the man. He seemed to take no notice of the rain, but merely continued to spin and spin, his arm outstretched, perpetually pointing every which way his body turned. What on Earth could possess a man to do such a thing? He had to be mad. Yes, he was obviously a gentleman who’d lost his mind and—for whatever reason—had not yet been escorted to Bedlam.
So, it was quite alarming when the man stopped spinning at the exact moment his outstretched finger pointed in Henry’s direction.
Henry’s heart stopped. It was the first time he could see the man’s face clearly, and his visage froze Henry to the core. It was a gnarled face, with a nose that seemed as long and jointed as a bent finger. The man’s eyes were wide with glee, and his smile was twisted into a grin that resembled a jagged series of arches.
Panicking, Henry ducked away from the window, but only a moment later, he heard a knock upon the door.
“Is this a clock repair shop?” came a muffled voice. “I find myself in need of your services.”
Henry crouched in the corner, quivering. Unlocking the door was the last thing left to do, and it was certainly the last thing he wanted to do.
“Pardon my rudeness, but are you indeed open?” The knock became a furious rapping.
Above Henry were shelves where clocks ticked incessantly. Combined with the rapping on the door, Henry’s head rattled. All the same, his father had ordered him to open the shop and if Henry did not do that, he would certainly be in danger of a beating. The man in the tall hat was strange, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was dangerous. Henry’s father, however, most certainly was.
Henry reluctantly pulled himself to his feet and went to open the door. The man stood outside, his eyes and grin both unnaturally wide.
“I apologize for any trouble. I seem to, herm, my clock seems to be broken. I should very much like aid.” There was an unusual affectation to the man’s speech, and his eyes had a confused wildness to them, as though he wasn’t quite certain whether Henry was real or not.
“I would be happy to help you, sir. May I see the item in question?” Despite his fear, Henry greeted him with the same smile he’d seen his father give customers many times before.
“But of course, child.” The man with the tall hat dug into his pocket and pulled out a pocket watch. Henry couldn’t help but notice the man’s remarkably long fingers.
Henry took the watch and jerked his hand back, as if trying to snatch a paper from a roaring fire. The man took no notice of Henry’s nervousness. Instead, he tossed a bundle of notes onto the floor and bowed.
“I shall check in tomorrow at nine o’clock precisely. I trust it will be done by then?”
“Well, er—”
“Splendid!” the man interrupted and disappeared back into the rainy street.

To read the full story and more Clock-inspired, Alice Horror, check out Clockwork Wonderland

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